Thursday, July 9, 2015

Window of Opportunity, garlic harvest

Hello from the farm, 

The great news this week is that despite the continuing rains, it dried out just enough to get some much overdue transplanting done.  There is about a two week gap between the first strawberry plants we put in and the remaining half that we got in on Tuesday.  Yesterday we pushed determinedly to get a field disked, rototilled and planted with pumpkins and winter squash all by the end of the day. We didn't get them all transplanted in spite of intense and valiant efforts, but we planted about three-fourths of them and were happy with that. We had to conclude that good enough is perfect and call it a day. 

transplanting always evokes smiles from your farmers! 

The garlic harvest is starting, and it looks to be a splendid crop! (despite the dark picture, sorry) After it is harvested and cleaned, it is cured for a few weeks in the barn to dry it down.  You'll see it possibly next week or the following. 

Abendessen Bread this week:  Sun-dried Tomato Bagels at $4 for a half dozen.  

Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:

Eggplant: The Italian and Asian types differ only in shape and color, they are used in the same manner.  I like them sliced and grillled or pan fried with soy sauce, oil, miso etc until browned and crispy.  

New Potatoes: postponed until next week due to mud. wow, new potatoes are delicious boiled or steamed until tender and then topped with a little bit of salt and butter

Cucumbers: We are probably biased, but our cucumbers are delicious!
Some Russian friends served me this type of cucumber salad years back, and it's been my favorite salad since:

Chop cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and mince garlic cloves or scapes, mix and douse with olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste.  The flavors blend and it tastes even better if it sits for half and hour or so before eating it, but you can eat it immediately too.

Zucchini: use for zucchini bread, puree for soup stock, or slice and fry with oil and seasonings, or dice for salads.
Scallions: These mild-mannered onion family folks give an easy onion flavor to salads, sandwiches, stir fries and more.  Or you could do the old classic buttered bread and sliced scallion treat: my grandparents talked a lot about enjoying them in spring.  "A good spring tonic" says my 101 year old grandma. 
Beets: (taking a week or two off to size up) mmm, I used to love to eat these after my mother had blanched them and slipped the skins off and they were cooling on the counter.  Super nutritious, they can be roasted, grated for salad, boiled or steamed, then eaten hot or cold, and of course, made into pickled beets or used for pickled beet eggs.  Makes me hungry writing about them.  
Kale/Collards/Senposai: we like to fry these in a skillet with butter or coconut oil until crisp, add some onions and saute them as well--a superb topping for rice, fried eggs or stand alone too.
Garlic scapes:  these are the would-be flowering stems of garlic--soft, tender, easy to use for stir fries, diced for salad, really anywhere a mild garlic flavor is desired. We like to use it for pesto here at the farm.
Chard: this cousin to the beet is appreciated for its leaves instead of its roots.  Use for salads, or as a spinach or kale substitute in cooking.  

Cabbage: great for a cabbage and chopped peanut with vinegar salad. Simple and surprisingly good in spite of its simplicity. 


Napa cabbage: this Asian cabbage is main ingredient in Kimchee, a spicy kraut or relish of sort. The quality is great diminished so we are not harvesting it any more until the new fall crop. 
Bok Choi: the joy of choi, this is great for stir fries and goes well with peanuts, cashews, ginger, soy sauce, garlic, peanut butter, chicken.   This will return in fall. 
Lettuce heads: the lettuce did really well, we hope you enjoyed it.
 Green garlic: this is garlic harvested before the base swells and becomes a bulb. It has a milder flavor than bulb garlic and can be used anywhere garlic is called for. Keep refrigerated as you would green onions/scallions. 
Rhubarb: rhubarb is harvested only in Spring and is then given a year's rest 
Parsnip: may have a late fall crop of these. 

 The Pick Your Own Field is Coming Alive: 

Each year we plant the pick your own field with lots of favorites like sunflowers, zinnias, Sungold cherry tomatoes, and basil, while also adding in some experimental and novelty things like rice, amaranth, quinoa, insanely hot peppers (and milder ones). 
General rules of thumb:

If plentiful, take a little more, if scarce, go easy on the crop
For herbs--pinch only the tops of stems so that they can regrow

BIG NEWS from Homefields--Join cookbook author and food blogger Marisa McClellan for a canning class at Homefields. Saturday, July 18, 10:30-12:30. We'll make a batch of Nectarine Lime Jam, dig into the mechanics of boiling water bath canning, & talk about how to make the safest & most delicious home preserves possible. Marisa will demystify canning for the beginners & will offer useful tips & short cuts for seasoned preserves. All participants will go home with a small jar of the jam made in class, as well as the knowledge to go home & make more! Class size is limited, so register with a friend for a great morning; to register, please send your name & phone number to; the fee is $22 per person, check payable to Homefields or with a credit card here:

Enjoy the harvest, 

Your farmers

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